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Anemia is a condition characterized by a lack of adequate healthy red blood cells in the circulatory system. It is usually reported as low hemoglobin in routine blood tests. Different types of anemia are classified based on whether they are caused by the destruction of red blood cells, blood loss, or faulty or reduced production of red blood cells. Heavy menstrual bleeding, post-surgery complications, and gastrointestinal conditions such as hemorrhoids cause anemia due to blood loss. Anemias caused by faulty or reduced production of red blood cells include megaloblastic anemia, iron-deficiency anemia, thalassemia, and sickle cell anemia. The destruction of red blood cells causes hemolytic anemia.

Pharmaceutical And Nonpharmaceutical Management

Both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions can be used in the management of anemia. Anemia caused by blood loss is managed by using interventions that stop the bleeding. For instance, surgery can be done to fix internal bleeding. Thalassemia is managed through bone marrow transplants and blood transfusions (Baronciani et al., 2016). Iron-deficiency anemia is managed through blood transfusion, parenteral iron therapy, oral iron supplements, and the intake of foods that help in iron absorption. The management of sickle cell anemia involves folic acid supplements, analgesics, oxygen therapy, and hydroxyurea. Megaloblastic anemia is managed through blood transfusion, cobalamin therapy, and folate therapy. Anemia caused by chronic kidney disease is managed through the administration of erythropoietin.

Considerations For Age And Gender When Determining Therapeutic Options

The age and gender of patients should be put into consideration when determining therapeutic options. Organ function should be considered when determining the therapeutic options in the management of iron-deficiency anemia in patients older than 65 years. Most of these patients have impaired kidney function and may be at risk of iron overload. Intravenous iron therapy is thus the best-preferred option. The doses of erythropoietin also vary depending on the gender of the patient. For instance, women need higher doses of erythropoietin than men.

How Certain Medications, Risk Factors, And Diet Contribute To Each Type Of Anemia

Certain medications, risk factors, and diet contribute to the development of different types of anemia. For example, nitrofurantoin, dapsone, sulfonamides, and methyldopa induce hemolytic anemia (Khurana & Raj, 2017). Risk factors such as post-surgery complications, gastrointestinal bleeding, and heavy menstrual bleeding lead to the development of anemia due to blood loss. Genetic predisposition is implicated in sickle cell anemia. In addition, dietary deficiencies cause megaloblastic and iron-deficiency anemia.


Baronciani, D., Angelucci, E., Potschger, U., Gaziev, J., Yesilipek, A., Zecca, M., Orofino, M. G., Giardini, C., Al-Ahmari, A., Marktel, S., De La Fuente, J., Ghavamzadeh, A., Hussein, A. A., Targhetta, C., Pilo, F., Locatelli, F., Dini, G., Bader, P., & Peters, C. (2016). Hemopoietic stem cell transplantation in thalassemia: A report from the European Society for Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation Hemoglobinopathy Registry, 2000-2010. Bone Marrow Transplantation, 51(4), 536–541.

Khurana, M., & Raj, S. S. (2017). Drug-Induced Hemolytic Anemia: A Fatal Complication Further Under-Recognized in Sickle Cell Disease. Open Journal of Blood Diseases, 07(03), 79–85.


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After reviewing all types of anemia,

  • Discuss pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical management of each type.
  • What considerations need to be made for age and gender when determining therapeutic options?
  • Discuss how certain medications, risk factors, and diet can contribute to each type of anemia.

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